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I'm 71. I've got a right to be loud, lady. I'm gonna die soon.
September 23, 2007 1:29 PM   Subscribe

In 1964, Mel Brooks won both the Oscar & BAFTA Best Short Film awards for The Critic. His first film, it revolves around an old man heckling abstract animation that he doesn't understand. Youtube (lower quality) | brettratner.com (higher quality)
posted by miss lynnster (37 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
The "make a shoe" line killed me. Thanks!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:37 PM on September 23, 2007


"Could this be the sex life of two things?"
posted by ORthey at 1:39 PM on September 23, 2007


I'm not sure I could make any more sense of that animation than he did.

Also: Ed the Sock.
posted by anthill at 1:45 PM on September 23, 2007


Thank you, Miss Lynnster! That just made my day! =)
posted by ZachsMind at 1:58 PM on September 23, 2007


Delightful!
posted by saladin at 2:00 PM on September 23, 2007


Years ago I was pointing at my dad and saying "That's you!"

Funny how all these years later that same finger points elsewhere and I find myself saying "That's my kids!"
posted by hal9k at 2:00 PM on September 23, 2007


I have a right to be loud.
posted by jsavimbi at 2:11 PM on September 23, 2007


"It must be some symbolism. I think it's symbolic of...junk."

Neat find, thanks.
posted by mediareport at 2:11 PM on September 23, 2007


Imagine what direction Brooks' career might have taken if Flash™ had been invented in the mid-60s.
posted by spock at 2:14 PM on September 23, 2007


Imagine what direction Brooks' career might have taken if Flash™ had been invented in the mid-60s.

It'd be short and called "Skip Intro" A two word voice-over would rasp: "Fuck dis"
posted by hal9k at 2:28 PM on September 23, 2007


Mel only steals from the best: himself. From The Producers ('68) —

Franz Liebkind: Hitler... there was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in ONE afternoon! TWO coats!
posted by rob511 at 2:35 PM on September 23, 2007


"I dunno much about psych-analysis but I'd say this is a dirdy picture".

Didn't expect to enjoy it much and loved it. Neat.

Reminds me of the old farts who used to talk in Museum Of Modern Art films in NYC. Seniors used to get a good deal with a membership, tons of free movies and many of them, the films and the seniors, were funny.
posted by nickyskye at 2:56 PM on September 23, 2007


it revolves around an old man heckling abstract animation that he doesn't understand

I think he understood it alright.
posted by Citizen Premier at 3:20 PM on September 23, 2007


My first thought: did people ever actually make films like the one "The Critic" is making fun of? When in the history of film did people create--much less screen--films of a bunch of triangles dancing to harpsichord music? Is there some sort of Geometric Era of European Cinema to which I was heretofore oblivious? (I'm genuinely curious...)
posted by goingonit at 3:44 PM on September 23, 2007


Well there was fantasia, and the like.
posted by empath at 3:52 PM on September 23, 2007


When in the history of film did people create--much less screen--films of a bunch of triangles dancing to harpsichord music?

I believe you're describing the entire output of the Canadian film industry -- as seen from the rest of the world, anyway.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:03 PM on September 23, 2007 [3 favorites]


Mel only steals from the best: himself.

Well....

This, though, this is nice. A nice little film.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:08 PM on September 23, 2007


did people ever actually make films like the one "The Critic" is making fun of?

Yes.
posted by Reggie Digest at 4:44 PM on September 23, 2007


goingonit:

This is probably one of the most accessible summaries of Norman McLaren's filmmaking style. I think there will be some triangles dancing to harpsichord music in there, though it's been a while.

McLaren was a Scottish immigrant to Canada, who was basically allowed to make whatever he wanted at the National Film Board. So he did.
posted by blacklite at 4:47 PM on September 23, 2007


Oop, Reggie beat me.
posted by blacklite at 4:48 PM on September 23, 2007


When in the history of film did people create--much less screen--films of a bunch of triangles dancing to harpsichord music?

I'm sure I can remember stuff like that being inflicted on us a kid...

And Errr Dot And Line?

(Though I think that would be improved by an old Jewish guy moaning over it 'How could a dot love a Live? What's that limey going on about?')
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:56 PM on September 23, 2007


"Uh-oh, it's a cock-a-roach."

Thank you, miss l. This was woith staying alive a few more minutes for. I'm gonna go croak now. But foist, lemme tell you what things were like back in Russia...
posted by languagehat at 4:57 PM on September 23, 2007


Dot and Line isn't abstract and is perfect as-is.
posted by DU at 5:27 PM on September 23, 2007


Waiiit wait wait wait wait.

Why is this on Brett Ratner .com ?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 5:56 PM on September 23, 2007


Thanks everyone! I should have guessed that the National Film Board had a hand in this (though by the time I was being subjected to NFB shorts, they were more along the lines of "The Cat Came Back" and "The Log-Driver's Waltz")
posted by goingonit at 6:00 PM on September 23, 2007


I was waiting for someone to notice that, SmileyChewtrain. Brett Ratner apparently has a blog and he's hosting a better version than I found anywhere else. I was torn... I'm yet another non-fan -- he seems to be a total jerk for various reasons -- but I AM a fan of linking to the best version of something when I'm making an fpp. So I put the youtube link there too & figured I'd let people pick for themselves whether or not to use his bandwidth.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:07 PM on September 23, 2007


My first thought: did people ever actually make films like the one "The Critic" is making fun of? When in the history of film did people create--much less screen--films of a bunch of triangles dancing to harpsichord music? Is there some sort of Geometric Era of European Cinema to which I was heretofore oblivious?

Yes indeed. A good place to start is the Center for Visual Music. Generally, films like the one that Brooks was spoofing were called "visual music" or just "abstract animation." Aside from Norman McLaren, there's also Jordan Belson, Oskar Fischinger, John and James Whitney, and Harry Smith (who also collected the first major anthology of American folk music).
posted by jonp72 at 7:13 PM on September 23, 2007


One lonely feeble vote for MEH. I'd like my 3:24 back. Oh, plus the 2 minutes I spent reading these comments to see if I'd missed anything trenchant or, well, "genius". Mel Brooks is fabulously overrated. Maybe more Yakkity Sax would help.
posted by intermod at 7:43 PM on September 23, 2007


intermod, what about your $2?
posted by Space Coyote at 7:47 PM on September 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


So I put the youtube link there too & figured I'd let people pick for themselves whether or not to use his bandwidth.

I'll use his bandwidth. He owes me more than that for what he did with X-Men 3.
posted by crossoverman at 8:21 PM on September 23, 2007


Mel Brooks is getting a new generation of fans. There's this computer-animated cartoon for kids Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks where they have these interludes with a sheep trying to get the other sheep to do things (act, sing, escape, etc). The ambitious and only speaking sheep is, of course, Mel Brooks, and he's hilarious.

Once Mel Brooks was being interviewed on the radio and I heard a small kid say "Hey Mom! It's the sheep!"

It is not great, but I managed to find a link of a small scene with Mel.
posted by eye of newt at 8:33 PM on September 23, 2007


There is one key reason that I have to respect Mel Brooks forever. I have no choice. It's very easily in my top 5.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:52 PM on September 23, 2007


I never thought I'd see Brett Ratner's name linked to something of "higher quality".
posted by Poolio at 9:00 PM on September 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mel Brooks is teh awesome. Not only is he funny, he's smart. Funny smart. Even his dumb movies are smart. Basically because they're dumb for a reason, and that's smart.

It's good to be king...
posted by Eekacat at 5:28 AM on September 24, 2007


MetaFilter: Symbolic of... junk.
posted by rusty at 11:18 AM on September 24, 2007


This is great. Thanks, miss lynnster.
posted by homunculus at 12:26 PM on September 24, 2007


Thank you for this.

Once he goes "Dots. What is this?"
Reminded me of metafilter obits.
posted by Peter H at 3:12 PM on September 24, 2007


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